Here are some book recommendations to help you through your grief, whether you are a widow or grieving the loss of a friend or family member.
These are books I have read. While I highly recommend all of these, please wait about 4 weeks after your spouse or other loved one’s passing before starting to read any or all. This was the advice given to me by Joe’s aunt.
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief – Martha Whitmore Hickman – Small book containing devotions and quotes by various people such as Ann Morrow Lindberg, Alfred Tennyson, Helen Keller and various Bible verses. Even though it contains Bible verses, this book is not geared towards any one religion. Ms. Hickman used her grief experience to write an excellent book that helped me work through my grief. I have also given this book to others who find themselves on a grief journey. The book has five-stars and 3,583 ratings on Amazon.
When my first blog post went live 10 years ago today, I was not sure JoyReturns would be around to celebrate 1 year let alone ten. In fact, I was skeptical it would last six months.
Well, here we are 10 years later. Pretty good for someone who always thought her writing stunk because of it’s casual tone. God gifted me with the ability to write informally because He knew I would become a blogger. Writing about grief does not need to be done in a formal, stuffy manner like CEO’s, lawyers and other business professionals.
JoyReturns started as a way to provide encouragement to widows that their joy would return and to support them as they journeyed through grief. The best way for me to do help them was to share my adventures as I worked through grief, unemployment and whatever else came my way. Hopefully, not only would my readers be encouraged by my journey but they would get a laugh or two.
Also, I hoped sharing my adventures would show society widows do move forward with life and that we are not scary creatures with cooties.
God used my words to reach people in 165 countries and I was privileged to hear from widows about how they found the inspiration to move forward with building a new life. Other people reached out about how I gave them a better understanding of widowhood and how to help their friends and/or family members that were suddenly widowed.
So thank you God for how you have used JoyReturns so I could accomplish my vision
“…That henceforth I may be the salt of the earth and a blessing to all.”
Regeneration – prayer from The Valley Of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions – edited by Arthur Bennett
In 10 years the world has drastically changed. I do not understand the world and will not try to figure it out but simply turn it over to God. He is still on His throne and still in charge – Hallelujah!
Last year, I was planning on a big blowout of a party. However, with all the insanity of 2020 carrying over into 2021, it will just be a quiet night with a Dairy Queen Blizzard.
What does the future hold for JoyReturns, that remains to be seen. God whispered in my year “widow’s website” early one morning, so I am praying for God’s guidance. Nothing I thought of last year, newsletter, podcast, printables etc seemed right.
I will republish older posts in addition to Weekend Wisdom and new content.
Whatever comes our way this year, God willing I will still be pursuing my vision of being both the salt of the earth and a blessing to all.
Thank you my dear friends for coming on this journey with me. Your friendship these past 10 years means more than you know.
Author’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles on what I believe are keys to living a joyful life. A new post will be published every Wednesday.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1st Corinthians 6:19 -20 ESV English Standard Version
I know you are reading this stunned that the first article in the series is about exercise. After much thought, I decided this was the foundation for living a joyful life. Hopefully exercising will lead you to the next step, especially if you are grieving or going through another nasty life event.
Now I am the last person who needs to be writing about exercise since the most I do is up and down the basement steps when doing laundry.
But maybe if I write about exercise I will do it more. Maybe this spring I need to bring back Tour de Parks where I walk a different park every week and then blog about it.
Exercise and Mental Health
It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.
You need exercise to keep the endorphins and other chemicals giving you a natural high. They help boost your mood so you feel like working through tough situations such as grief or career transition.
It is the number one thing I would tell a person to do to get through grief and I mean start the day after the funeral.
Even if it is walking around the block, just do it and keep doing it. You will slowly but surely feel like doing more things to move forward with your new life.
Speaking of walking…
How I Make Walking Less Of A Chore
My favorite thing to do when I go for walks in area parks is to take my camera. Practicing my photography takes my mind off how many laps I’ve yet to do around the pond…
or how far I still need to walk.
The desire of activity is designed by nature to promote our physical well-being. Physical activity is the law of physical health.
Edward Brooks, 1882 Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com
Get some cool tennis shoes and some cool Hollywood starlet shades and you are off and walking.
Not into walking? Then do chores as they count as exercise – both indoor and outdoor. They are another form of activity that adds up.
So run up and down the basement steps while waiting for the dryer to stop, pick up your speed when vacuuming or dance while you are dusting. Hmmm…we may have a new sport – ballroom dusting.
For your outdoor exercise may I recommend raking a gully as part of your plan to meet the 150 minutes per week requirement.
The gully in my backyard is known as The River Kearns and every couple years, it makes an appearance when we get a lot of rain. I then rake the drain area to make sure leaves, twigs and grass clipping are not clogging the drain. Fun, fun, fun.
A Wise Old Saying
You’ve heard it said that in order to never work a day in your life, find a job you enjoy doing.
The same is true for exercise, find some type you enjoy doing and you will never exercise a day in your life.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go strip the sheets off the bed with the force of an F5 tornado, run down the steps and dunk them in the washing machine. Then it will be time to get out of the house as it is my day off and I must spend most of it away from home. Looks like I will be walking the mall due to the cold, gloomy weather.
Remember – Exercise and you will experience joyful life thanks to the endorphins and other hormones. Plus you will give people something to talk about when you tell them you did ballroom dusting before coming to work.
Reflect first upon that great law of our nature, that exercise is the chief source of improvement in all our faculties.
Hugh Blair (1718–1800) Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.com